There was no holding back of emotions. The tears flowed freely as he spoke in halting Dutch. Marijne’s journey from The Netherlands to India has been dotted with tragedy, sacrifices, dreams and goals.
A little over a year before the 47-year-old made the India move, he lost his parents Jos Marijne and Elly van der Steen.
He was very close to his father Jos, who dreamt of his son making an impact in some capacity at the Olympics. Alas, Jos didn’t live to see the day.
Life has been a rollercoaster ride for Marijne since February 2017, when he first joined the India women’s team.
The following year, in September, he was moved to the men’s team after Roelant Oltmans was removed.
The musical chairs continued. In less than nine months, Marijne was back with the women’s side, swapping places with Harendra Singh in the middle of an Olympic cycle.
Marijne was home on holiday when the switch was announced. Many believed he wouldn’t return given the uncertainties of the job. But he had unfinished business.
In Wayne Lombard he had a scientific advisor who put the players through the grind. In 2019, he ensured his former ward and Dutch defender Janneke Schopman came on board as analytical coach.
Marijne, the coach and person, is a strict disciplinarian. Ten days before the nationwide lockdown last year, he was heading home for a break but returned from the airport because he wasn’t sure if he would be allowed back, which in turn could disrupt the team’s training schedule.
Since then, this team has been driven by the ‘we can’ spirit instilled by Marijne.